Pete DiPrimio, sports columnist and college beat writer for The News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., takes his best shots on the world of Hoosier basketball.

Friday, May 25

Sampson Recruiting Sanctions End

So now Kelvin Sampson is back in good NCAA graces when it comes to recruiting. He can call who he wants and go where he wants just like any other college basketball coach.

Of course, the IU coach can’t go anywhere to recruit right now until July, when the next off-campus period begins.

Still, his year of penance for making 577 illegal phone calls (he made 233 of them, his staff made the rest) to recruits while at Oklahoma is over as of Thursday. No longer does he have to wait for recruits to come to him. He can go and see them -- at high schools, in tournaments, at their homes.

To show you how good a recruiter he is, and how good a staff he has, Sampson still landed a class that ranks in the top 10 nationally. The class is highlighted by Indianapolis’ Eric Gordon, Indiana’s Mr. Basketball who rates as the nation’s top shooting guard.

Gordon and the rest of the newcomers (six in all) will get an early jump on their college careers because Sampson has lined up an exhibition tour (as many as five games) to the Bahamas around the Labor Day weekend. That will enable the Hoosiers to practice and bond well before official practice begins in mid October.

It’s a big jump in what looms as a huge season for IU. Given what Ohio State did with its group of highly touted freshmen (in case you forgot, the Buckeyes won the Big Ten title and finished second in the NCAA tourney to defending champ Florida), given the impact freshmen continue to make nationally, Hoosier prospects are very, very good.

Good enough to match, or even surpass, what Ohio State did? Hey, it’s still May, still spring and all things are possible. We’ll wait for the fall to deal with reality.


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